As mentioned last week, the new book is about the ValueWeb: the Internet of Value. Amazingly, some people are already asking me what comes after the Internet of Value?
Let's begin with noting that your need the Internet of Value to allow the Internet of Things. Machines cannot trade with machines if they don't have a real-time almost free value exchange system. That real-time almost free system is the Internet of Value.
The Internet of Value allows the refrigerator to exchange value with the grocery store through a registration of the refrigerator on the owner’s identity. The owner will get cloud-based updates in real-time of the refrigerator’s purchases. They will also see what their car, television and other devices are ordering in real-time. This will all run on a shared infrastructure, which is some form of an internet cloud-based shared ledger of trust.
As machines trade with machines, the Internet On-Demand for printing anything will develop. This is development is hinged upon secure designs and patents, as it means the supply chain collapses from goods being imported from overseas to goods being printed at home or in the local workshop. Right now, 3D printers can easily print anything from jewellery to clothing to guns to even printing houses and body parts.
As people can print products at home that they used to purchase in stores, there will be a war on copyright crime and illegal printing of products. This war will be the same battle we have seen with the illegal downloading of digital goods and services, like film and music, but now in the physical world of products from fashion to furniture. After all, if you can just get a design and source the materials, you can start producing anything in your home. That’s the On-Demand internet future.
Shortly after this, we will have things looking after us. There will be robots appearing to manage healthcare in particular. After all, if we can print body parts, we can replace the parts that no longer function quickly and easily. Scientists are already solving many of the most insoluble challenges, thanks to crowdsourcing ideas through gamification. A great example is the story of Foldit.
Foldit is a revolutionary crowdsourcing computer game enabling anyone to contribute to important scientific research. The game analyses how proteins are generated and how they work, with the aim of finding solutions to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, various cancers, Alzheimer’s and more. The gaming system first came to light in 2011 when the players solved an AIDS puzzle in weeks that had baffled scientists for more than a decade. People playing Foldit solved how an enzyme structure that causes an AIDS-like disease in monkeys worked in three weeks. Researchers had been working on the problem for 13 years. There are other games that are trying to solve global challenges and health issues from finding new planets (Planet Hunters) to solving genetic diseases through DNA analysis (Phylo) to figuring out how the brain works (Eyewire).
The development of life sciences, further fuelled by crowdsourcing answers to life’s problems, will lead to greater and greater longevity of life. Already scientists are predicting that the average child born in 2015 will live to the year 2165 (150 years old) and that will only be made possible by leap-frogging our health challenges combined with assisting our healthcare.
This is where we expect to see robots appearing in the home at first: dispensing medicines at the right time through the day, every day, along with serving meals and managing the home. We already home some examples of robots in the home – lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners – but robots generally assisting around the home of less abled and aging citizens will make sense, as does robo-parts. The idea of the bionic human is also here. Doctors are replacing arms and legs with robotic replacement parts that work well.
Bionic arms, legs and eyes are now a realistic vision, as is replacing heart, lungs, kidneys and other internal organs. Breakthroughs in managing cancers, strokes, heart attack and other life threatening illnesses are also being solved at a pace. A little like our ability to explore space, land humans on Mars and see close-up images of Pluto, the things that were science fiction when we were growing up are becoming fact, and it’s all down to the onward march of technology.
However, during the final phase of ValueWeb 3.0, the third generation internet of things, on-demand and robots, will not function without the underlying real-time and free value exchange mechanisms. How can my homecare robot order my drugs, medicines and food if they are unable to pay? How can my refrigerator, car and home entertainment system manage my life for me if they cannot order goods and services on my behalf?
All of these developments of machine-to-machine (M2M) commerce can only be created and delivered if you have a real-time almost free ValueWeb underpinning it all. That is why this is so fundamental and, as illustrated, asking what comes after the Internet of Value is really asking what comes after the delivery of the Internet of Things, where we can print anything on-demand and robots are everywhere.